Local riding group looks to raise £20,000 for Cooking on Gas trail refurbishment


Community riding group Ride Sheffield, responsible for maintaining hotspots like Lady Cannings Plantation, has launched a fundraiser to help repair and refurbish the Cooking on Gas! blue route. It’s 1.5km long and has been a popular addition to the park since it opened in 2017. It’s not just enthusiasts that ride here, families and beginners also use the park to develop their skills and get into riding. Now, however, the trail has suffered damage from traffic and weather and is in need of complete repair and refurbishment to bring it back to its former glory.

Cooking on Gas crowdfunding

The trail head for the Cooking on Gas blue route

Cooking on Gas!

Nestled just outside Sheffield lies Lady Cannings Plantation. It’s a set of crowdfunded trails maintained by local advocacy group, Ride Sheffield – and run by the council. Cooking on Gas is among the blue route options at the park, and is full of swooping berms and flowy tracks. It’s great for all levels of riders, including those getting started in mountain biking as well as those looking to hone their skills or develop better bike handling.

There is one other blue trail in the park, called Blue Steel – an equally beginner friendly option. Although both have suffered from lots of traffic and wear and tear throughout the years, Blue Steel’s maintenance has been able to be managed by volunteers on the “Trail Crew” volunteer team. Unfortunately, the Cooking with Gas trail requires machinery and materials from more of a professional job to be able to see the same maintenance.

Cooking on Gas crowdfunding

How many trail builders does it take to revamp a blue? As many as there are shovels

Crowdfunding effort

This is where the crowdfunding kicks in – a target of £20,000 has been set on the group’s crowdfunding page. With this money, the team plans to resurface the majority of the trail, reshape and improve features including berms, and the sight lines at the crossing points.

The project has already received £20,000 of other funding from sources including “grants and donations”. Rapha and Paydirt are among the cycling industry bodies to have supported the project thus far.

Simon Bowns, co-founder of Ride Sheffield said, “It’s yet another of those areas where we’ve got purpose built MTB trails that people don’t know the origin of or where they came from. The hardest fight we have is getting the message across to people outside of the local MTB community.”

The council runs the park, and offers some help with tool loans for dig days and bridleway maintenance, but part of the agreement with Ride Sheffield for Lady Cannings is that the community helps to maintain the trails.

“We’ve got a fantastic Trail Crew volunteer team that have helped with the maintenance of Blue Steel, but because of the bigger features and masses amounts of material on Cooking on Gas, we need to call in the professionals to help get it back to where it should be.”

Bowns and the rest of Ride Sheffield is keen to get the word out not just to enthusiasts or people that already know about the park, but wider afield to families and those who want to support community maintained places like this. If you want to donate to the cause, find out more on their crowdfunding page.